Sarah L. Ribeiro
September 11, 2014
During reconstruction, the meaning of freedom suited many different types of interpretation; the perception of freedom between former slaves and their slaves masters were very contradictory. To begin with, African-Americans had suffered severe abuse over those years of slavery, so to them, the meaning of freedom was basically a hope that in the future, they won’t experience all kind of punishment and exploration that they have been experienced so far. Besides that, formers slaves were demanding equal civil and political rights. In the same way, they valued their freedom by establishing their own schools and churches, reuniting families that were separated under…show more content…
Despite the black codes had provided rights such as the marriage legalization and the ownership of property, they violated the free labor principle and denied the African-Americans the right to vote, and sue any white man. Foner (2014) found “In response to planter’s demands that freed people be required to work on the plantations, the Black Codes declared that those who failed to sign yearly labor contracts could be arrested and hired out to white landowners” (p. 570) . In fact, it was a totally failure of what freedom was supposed to be.
Another important characteristic of the Reconstruction after the civil war was the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Its responsibilities according to Foner (2014) were related with social work, “ Bureau agents were supposed to establish schools, provide aid to the poor and aged, settle disputes between whites and blacks and among the freedpeople, and secure for former slaves and white Unionists equal treatment before the courts” (p. 562) . Still, the Bureau lasted only until 1870, but made many achievements helping the black community.
Certainly, freedom was supposed to be “freer”” for those slaves that had fought for their rights after years of submissionn, but, unfortunately, many white Southern people continued to ignore the law by not showing any respect for Africans-Americans. Because of the radical reconstruction in the south, the African-Americans were a step closer from the same political